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Perhaps it is unusual to start a discussion of a topic with a dissent from the assumption underlying its choice, but I think that in the present case this may be justified. The present topic was no doubt selected because for many years teachers have viewed the course in "comparative law" as a basic course, leading subsequently to specialized courses or research in various subject matters or geographical areas. In fact, the other two speakers on this afternoon's program, Professors Rudolf Schlesinger of Cornell and Arthur von Mehren of Harvard, are both on record in the form of their casebooks as advocating this type of course, with a generous focus on Western Europe, and Germany and France in particular.